Photo/IllutrationA monitoring camera of the Japan Meteorological Agency captures the volcanic fumes rising from the eruption on Kuchinoerabujima island on the morning of Jan. 17. (Taken by monitoring camera of the Japan Meteorological Agency)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

Mount Shindake erupted on Kuchinoerabujima island in southern Japan on Jan. 17, rattling buildings and sending ash and gas 6 kilometers into the atmosphere.

An evacuation warning was issued for the more than 100 residents on the island, but it was lifted at 11 a.m.

The Japan Meteorological Agency kept the alert level at 3, meaning no one should be near the crater.

Agency officials said the eruption occurred at 9:19 a.m. on the island, which falls under the jurisdiction of Yakushima, Kagoshima Prefecture.

Weather satellites found that the fumes had reached as high as 6,000 meters.

Pyroclastic flows extended about 1.5 kilometers to the southwest and northwest of the crater but had not yet reached any communities or the shore.

An official at the Kuchinoerabujima branch of the Yakushima town government said disaster management radio systems were being used as of 9:30 a.m. to almost all parts of the island.

One official said the windows of the branch office shook soon after the eruption and confirmed visually that the fumes and pyroclastic flows were larger in scale than those of the eruption in December.